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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  March 25, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use and i really think, you know, look what would have happened. it would have ruined their lives. >> indeed, brother paul. one of the leaders for the race for 2016 powerfully making the case of the bad effects for criminalizing young people for nonviolent marijuana offenses. i think his math is a little off. three previous consecutive presidents. if the bobbys have burst in, they would have gone to the nick with the rest. it would be unimaginable if you made clinton, bush and obama ineligible for the presidency because of marijuana arrests. we'd have to reimagine president paul songis or president mario cuomo. now we're in kornacki land. those are not horrible options. what wants to choose a president from a list of guys who were young in the '60s and 7 os i'70
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so stiff and frumpy they never tried it? arrests, for possession, not for sales, and for possession of marijuana, not harder drugs. why are we still conducting the war on drugs? criminalizing weed smokers, militarizing police and spending trillions to stop nothing. in the '70s, most criminalnolol experts concluded prison does not significantly deter crime and those with meaningful life opportunities were less likely to engage in crime regardless of the penalty, while those who went to prison were far more likely to commit crime in the future. prisons don't prevent crime. they create criminals. and america has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. what are we doing? happy monday. and now, my friend and yours, karen finney in for what's his name. don't tell me. don't tell me. >> oh, wow. >> don't tell any. >> thanks, guys. good afternoon, i'm karen finney in for martin bashir on this monday march 25th.
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welcome to what is shaping up to be quite a watershed week for same-sex marriage, immigration, and sgun safety in america. >> a pair of potentially groundbreaking cases on same-sex marriage go before the supreme exhort. >> this is a big historic moment. >> this is a basic civil rights issue. >> our colleague, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends. >> can you imagine the next presidential campaign, a republican candidate saying flat-out, i am for gay marriage? >> i could. >> immigration makes us stronger. it is part of what makes this such a dynamic country. >> no immigration reform is going to happen unless republicans in the house sign on to it. >> the time's come for comprehensive, sensible immigration reform. >> we are going to have a vote on assault weapons and we're going to have a vote on background checks. >> he can't spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the american public. >> 90% of the public want
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something. >> i mean, it's insane the stuff he says. >> this isn't about wayne lapierre. it's about the public wanting to be safe on their streets. ♪ you don't need a weatherman to know it's where the wind blows ♪ >> it's a busy and wintery monday on the east coast. congress is on spring break as lawmakers return to their districts where they're likely to face constituents ready to weigh in on several flashpoint issues. outside the supreme court, spectators are already lining up as the court prepares to hear two cases this week on same-sex marriage. these cases could literally transform the landscape of equal rights in this country. earlier today, president obama addressed a naturalization ceremony for new citizens challenging lawmakers to, quote, have courage when the debate resumes next month. perhaps the most volatile issue facing lawmakers right now, the debate over proposed new gun safety measures. this weekend marked 100 days since the sandy hook elementary
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school massacre, and gun reform advocates are clearly frustrated with the lack of action from lawmakers. organizers are planning a day of action this thursday with events aimed at reducing gun violence across the country. with the future of an assault weapons ban hanging in the balance, and the future of background checks also uncertain, this week new york mayor michael bloomberg's group, mayors against illegal guns, announced it will shell out $12 million on a tv ad campaign in 13 states. >> for me, guns are for hunting and protecting my family. i believe in the second amendment, and i'll fight to protect it. but with rights come responsibilities. that's why i support comprehensive background checks so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can't buy guns. that protects my rights and my family. >> now, the ad targets senators both democrats and republicans who might be on the fence but open to backing a package of federal gun law reforms. mayor bloomberg told nbc's david
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gregory on "meet the press" that lawmakers are going to spern the public at their peril. >> if 90% of the public want something and their representatives vote against that, common sense says they are going to have a price to pay for that. >> later in the same program, mr. common sense, himself, the nra's wayne lapierre dismissed the mayor's campaign as a mere vanity project. >> he can't spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the american public. they don't want him in their restaurants, they don't want him in their homes, don't want him telling them what food to eat. they shiure don't want him tellg them what defense firearms to own. he can't buy america. >> right. of course, the nra never tries to use its financial resources to influence opinions. wayne lapierre seems to forget mayor bloomberg doesn't need to buy public opinion on this issue because the majority of americans agree with him.
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between 85% and 91% of americans support universal background checks in recent polls. that includes 85% of gun owners. so more than 100 days after newtown, why is so much political courage needed to simply stand up for the will of the people? for more on this, i want to bring in our panel with us from dallas, conservative strategist stelia bigalow, here in new york, mr. martin, a survivor of the aurora theater. you have 85% to 91% of americans supporting universal background checks. that includes 85% of gun owners. yet wayne lapierre says the whole thing is a hoax, it's about taking away or confisca confiscating your guns. to you really agree with that? >> what i think needs to be done is we need to strength the system we already have. the fact of the matter is nearly
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80,000 people failed background checks last year. half of which were failed because of a felony indictment or conviction. and out of half of those people that failed background checks and were failed because of a felony indictment, only 44 were prosecuted. >> what we seem to be doing -- >> i actually heard wayne lapierre repeat those statistics a few times. the truth of the matter is a lot of times the prosecutions don't happen at a federal level but at a lower level. a lot of times if someone fails a background check, there will not necessarily be the rationale to pursue a federal case. there are a lot of other details into kbhawhat's really behind t numbers. why would we oppose something, you have law enforcement officials and the general public saying, we want this, we believe this will help. >> let's take a look in what is
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involved in some of these background checks that are, for say, in the bill that is actually being proposed by chuck schumer of new york. what we have here is some very ridiculous things that are included in this bill including the fact that if you have a lost or stolen gun and you don't report it in 24 hours, that's a felony. and you will be sent to jail for five years. actually i have a very close family member who has done a lot of moving and lost an antique rifle of his. it's probably somewhere in his packages, but he would have been jailed for five years had he not reported this gun. >> i think it's pretty clear that the goal -- the goal here is pretty clearly to make sure we keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who shouldn't have them. i want to move on to -- >> but, we -- sorry. >> go ahead. finish your point. >> we know criminals are not going to follow the law. they're not following the law right now. >> of course they're not. >> it's making it much harder for law-abiding citizens to --
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it's making it much harder for law-abiding citizens to own guns. and to be easily put up as a felon. >> it would serve as a deterrent, actually, for non law-abiding citizens. >> not true. >> steven, the opposition to these reforms is bringing out some pretty questionable kind of actions. we've got the nra issuing sort of these targeted robo calls in the area around newtown. let's take a listen to this. >> this week, despite an outcry of public opposition, anti-gun legislators are aggressively pursuing numerous proposals that are designed to disarm and punish law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen. >> so in addition to being a survivor of a gun shooting, yourself, you live in the newtown area. we have seen reports that obviously a lot of the folks in newtown are outraged they've been targeted with these robo calls. what's your reaction? >> i mean, honestly, it's not
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surprising. it's nothing new when it comes to the gun lobby, the national rifle association. i mean, we saw it on sunday with wayne lapierre. complete insensitivity to the wishes and, you know, opinions of the american public at large, but more specifically to survivors of gun violence who really want to see reform to our broken gun laws. >> so just since you're working with mayor bloomberg's group, these ads you're putting out that are going to be targeting both democrats and republicans, do you expect that's going to help move the needle or try to raise the temperature for members of congress when they come back? >> i really do. i mean, for so long the nra has been the only player in the game. they've been the ones who have basically been alone in talking about gun policy. now there's a new player and there are several new players. gabby giffords and mark kelly as well. so, i mean, i really believe the tide is turning. politicians are finally going to be held accountable for spurning what a majority of the american public wants in our laws.
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>> i hope you're right. because some are a little bit less hopeful, but i do hope you're right. celia, the white house, today, said it was pleased that there's going to be a vote on an amendment for an assault weapons ban in the senate. this was in response to those mass shootings like newtown and aurora where steven was shot. you've written that the ar-15, you know, a woman wouldn't want to be stuck at home without one. despite studies that show women are actually nearly three times more likely to be murdered if they have a gun in their home. >> well, that's -- i personally bought my ar-15 for home defense, and the fact is is that i don't want to be stuck at home without one because what if multiple intruders entered my home and they were armed? what if i didn't have a gun? i would be out of luck. if multiple intruders came into my home and i only had the three bullets that mayor bloomberg is fighting for, the fact of the matter that i would be out of luck because three bullets isn't going to get the job done, for
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example, what if i miss? >> here's the problem i have with that argument, celia. even justice scalia talked about the same kind of weapons of war in the heller decision. >> this isn't a weapons report. >> ar-15 is based on an m-16. and essentially in is a weapon of war that even as i say, even justice scalia acknowledged should have -- >> it is a semiautomatic rifle. >> do you want to answer the question? >> that means it's the same as a handgun. a semiautomatic handgun. >> but even -- >> these aren't military weapons. >> justice scalia acknowledged our rights do not come without some kinds of restrictions. when you're talking about the ar-15, modeled on the -- >> that's cosmetics. sorry it looks scary. >> here's why i raise this with you. you know, steven, you mentioned -- you said that if the ar-15 that the shooter in aurora hadn't jammed, you would be dead.
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right? that's what we're talking about here. right? >> i absolutely believe that. you know, sure, an ar-15, it looks scary, but it also far more deadly than a handgun. it's easier to manage. the bullets are fired at a higher velocity. when ambulances were called to the scene in sandy hook elementary school, none of the victims were arrive or even had any chance. they were pronounced all dead on arrival. so, i mean, this isn't a cosmetic difference. to suggest so is an insult to everyone who's ever been affected by that sort of violence. >> that is not a fair argument. >> celia, we're going to leave it there. let's respect steven's opinion. thank you both. coming up, the supreme court, same-sex marriage and the reality facing the republican party. >> karl rove, can you imagine the next presidential campaign, a republican candidate saying, flat-out, i am for gay marriage? >> i could.
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tomorrow begins two days of oral arguments at the supreme court regarding two separate issues of same-sex marriage. one, california's proposition 8 and the other the federal defense of marriage act, both with the potential to fundamentry reshape civil rights in this country. there are new reminders of how much public opinion in america is shifting on this issue. "the l.a. times" reports chief justice john roberts' lesbian cousin will not only be one of his invited guests but he's convinced roberts will rule in favor of same-sex marriage. will portman, son of republican senator rob portman, penned a beautiful essay for the yale
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"daily news" about what it's like to come out but to change your dad's mind on same-sex marriage in the process. people of the westboro baptist church, can't hide from the growing influence of the gay rights movement. directly across the street from their mission stands a gay rights center that's impossible to miss. in other words, the issue of gay rights is now literally at the doorstep of the people most opposed to it. joining us now, chad griffin, president of the human rights campaign, and jonathan capehart, opinion writer for the "washington post" and msnbc contributor. welcome to you both. >> hi, karen. >> thank you, karen. >> jonathan, i want to start with you. you wrote about this today and you said that the, quote, quasi triumphant coverage -- i do love how you turn a grease phrase --s week's court cases is making you feel uncomfortable. explain why? >> there's a reason to be feeling jubilant about the highest court in the land taking
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two cases that speak to the fundamental essence of who i am, of what a lot of people are in this country, lesbian and gay people who want to get married but can't. either because the state they live in bans it, constitutionally or legislatively, or they can't avail themselves of the 1,100 or so federal rights and responsibilities that come with marriage. >> right. >> what i wanted to do with that piece is just to remind people of what the state of play is for the court. yes, the opinion polls are moving in the right direction. we've got nine states plus the district of columbia where marriage equality is legal, where ten years ago that wasn't the case. things are moving in the right direction, but the court could look at all of that and say, hey, the democratic process is working just fine. we don't need to address this. that's what i want the lgbt community to be mindful of, to have that in the back of their mind. not to dampen the enthusiasm but keep if it in check a little bit.
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>> chad, i want to get you in on this and see you if agree. what struck me yesterday watching david gregory who interviewed david boyce, a main lawyer for the advocates, he sounded cautiously optimistic when talking about prospects in terms of the outcome of this case. what are your thoughts? >> you know, look, our side has been optimistic from the beginning because the constitution is on our side. you know, when more than three years ago we began this case, and went to trial, we set out to prove three things. number one, that this is a fundamental constitutional right to have the freedom to marry the person you love. the united states supreme court has found that right on 14 different occasions. in fact, called it essential to the pursuit of happiness. >> right. >> number two, to prove that depriving gay and lesbian individuals and their families from this right, it gravely harms them and their children and their families. and, third, by granting this right, it harms absolutely no one including our opposition. we proved all three of those
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things conclusively, and those facts and this case is now what's before those nine justices and we'll walk into that courtroom tomorrow with cautious optimism. >> so karl rove made quite the claim yesterday about the potential on a republican ticket in 2016 on this issue. let's take a listen and talk about it on the other side. >> karl rove, can you imagine the next presidential campaign, a republican candidate saying flat-out, i am for gay marriage? >> i could. >> now, chad, rove's presidential math and calculations have been a little off of late. i want to ask, is it really feasible that the republicans would support a same-sex marriage advocate for president plus change the language of their platform in four years or less than four years at this point? >> karen, on this very network six months ago i said i thought there was a decent chance both of the nominees from the republican and the democratic party very soon may hold the very same position as it relates to marriage equality. the reason is, and karl rove is
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a political strategist, he looks at polling, he looks at data. the polling shows that a majority, the vast majority of young people under the age of 30 support marriage equality. 81% of them. that's republicans, independents, and democrats alike. also independents across the board support marriage equality. so if you're going to run for office and you start out by writing off those under 30 and independents, you're going to have a very tough time succeeding. so i think there's a chance that karl rove might not have been too off on that one. it's perhaps one of the things i agree with karl rove on. >> of course that is exactly what the strategy seems to have been in the last two election cycles is to write off vast swaths of the population. jonathan, i want to talk about the politics of this before we have to go. that is, obviously on the democratic party side, i mean, this is kind of a, you know, no brainer gate issue i would say for someone seeking the nomination on the democratic ticket. on the republican side, though, i'm not sure i agree with karl rove that the person who is
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their nominee would be an advocate. it certainly seems like it's going to be a much tougher issue in 2016 for someone seeking national office, given the numbers that chad was just talking about. >> very tough for someone on the republican side to not be in favor of marriage equality? >> correct. i mean, given the fund-raising issues. this is an area where republicans are raising a lot of money. it's obviously an area where vast swaths of the population have changed their opinion. >> right. >> i think it's going to be a harder position for republican in 2016. >> well, yes. if not 2016, certainly by 2020. look, in the last election, i wrote a piece saying, talking about how gays and lesbians were silent as an issue in this, the last presidential election and how that was a good thing. for once gays and lesbians weren't used as a wedge issue by republicans in a presidential election. rob portman, senator portman comes out in favor of marriage equality because his son came out as gay.
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mute. the party has been mute in terms of especially criticism of him. there's been nothing. there's been silence on that . with the democrats, whoever runs in 2016 on the democratic side, that person will be for marriage equality. and so what you're going to have happen in 2016, and certainly by 2020, where the issue of marriage equality and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered americans will be completely off the table because the candidates for both major parties will be on the same page. >> you know, that would be -- >> relatively. >> that would be really nice having watched how gays and lesbians have been demonized in previous elections. i would love that. >> no question the country's ready. >> chad griffin, jonathan capehart, thank you. >> thank you, karen. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. >> what do you think of president bush's paintings? have you seen them? >> i have one. i have one of the original first 43s. he painted my wife and our dogs.
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and the u.s. government. for karzai to not just appear to be a leader but to actually be the leader of a functioning, independent, sovereign government on its way to being a country that can operate independent of the u.s. once combat troops are withdrawn at the end of 2014. now, they smoothed over some thorny issues here. one having to do with the transfer of bagram prison which the u.s. had run with 4,000 detainees to afghan control, complete afghan control with consultation with the u.s. to make sure high-value, high-risk detainees aren't involved in prisoner exchanges or simply released. an issue that's come to the fore in the last couple weeks, you know, karen, you've reported it, the comments karzai made two sundays ago when chuck hagel was in town basically accusing the u.s., in fact, accusing the u.s. in working in concert with the taliban against afghan interests. karzai said he is comments were misunderstood. kerry says we're beyond that, we're on the same page, inclu including about peace talks with the taliban in which karzai says he wants to initiate in doha. >> nbc's mike taibbi.
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we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. from bloomberg versus lapierre and a possible pathway to citizenship, to enter the rand man. here are today's top lines. >> spent $12 million on running ads. >> he's out there putting his money where his mouth is. >> he can't buy america. >> 90% of the public wants something. common sense says they are going to have a price to pay. >> it's insane the stuff he says. >> this isn't about wayne lapierre. >> he's not going away and feels strongly about this. >> you want to get something done, stop scaring people. don't say we're going to keep a registry of all these gun. >> we're scaring people with orwellian sense that black helicopters are going to confiscate america's guns. >> this is a big moment. >> can you imagine the next presidential campaign, a republican candidate saying
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flat-out, i'm for gay amerimarr? >> i could. >> how do you feel about stephen colbert's rendition of your head? >> he's an entertainer. >> it's disgraceful. >> people's eyeballs. >> when he took out the knife and started stabbing it, i think he might need a little bit of professional counseling on his anger management. >> rand paul is grabbing headlines. is he the flavor of the month? a force to be reckoned with in 2016? >> the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use. they got lucky. a lot of kids in the inner city don't get lucky. >> what do you think of president bush's paintings? >> i have one of the originals. he painted a picture of my wife and i and our dogs. >> our party could grow if we accepted something different than the cookie cutter conservatives. >> does this increase your interest in running for president? it sounds like the answer is yes. >> i want to be part of the answers to it. let's get right to our
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panel. we're joined now by msnbc contributor goldie taylor. republican strategist hogan g gidley and political strategist angela rye. i'm going to start with you, senator rand paul out there this weekend making the case for the more libertarian type of conservatism as opposed to what he called the cookie cutter conservatism. you think that's going to help the party with young voters who supported president clinton -- sorry, president obama, over mitt romney by margin of 24 percentage points? >> i don't know that it does help or doesn't help. what i first have to get clear is what is libertarian conservatism? the two don't seem to mesh for me. you're talking about someone who is certainly against marriage equality but every libertarian, true libertarian i know wants to stay out of my life, and every social conservative i know wants to be in my life. i'm not really sure about the difference here. we're still talking about a guy who disagrees with the lions share of the civil rights legislation rulings of the '60s because he said they infringed
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on personal property rights. so i've got real dilemmas with rand paul and some of those issues that i think might play better with younger audiences. and i just don't see how he plays well. >> hogan, another republican senator making waves right now, another tea party darling is ted cruz of texas. in an interview over the weekend he said his biggest surprise of the senate has been the "defeatist attitude of many republicans in washington. many republicans feel beaten down and nothing they could do to stop the erosion of liberty in this country." hogan, is that an accurate analysis of where republicans are, and if that's true, is it cruz and rand paul who are the new jolt of energy for the party? >> oh, two very good questions. look, ted cruz hadn't been there long enough to feel defeated. we just suffered some pretty big defe defeats. he just won. i understand why he didn't feel defeated at all. he made an interesting point in one of the interviews i read. why don't we ask more constitutional questions about
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the laws we pass? if we did that, we might have a lot fewer laws. interesting question, something to think about moving forward and a movement, quite frankly, he might be able to lead. the problem with the tea party movement, overall, there are a few, this is one of the big ones, they can't be seen as the party of no. it stands for taxed enough already. we understand we want to draw a line in sand and not tax anything else. at some point you have to be for something and some point have to get people on your side to your mission and vision and move legislation. you can't just be sitting up there pounding your fist, saying no and pointing to constitution. while i love and respect the constitution, you have to use the that to bring people on to your side, not turn people off. that's an issue. as far as rand paul's concerned, look, libertarian as though he may be, he's got some issues and stances that could bring some people on to the conservative libertarianism. i don't know what that is, either, by the way, goldie. he could bring people to that side. goldie also pointed out there are big issues he has about civil rights and things like that that are nonstarters that
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no one brought up in the last few weeks since his filibuster. >> so, angela, republicans have talked a lot about how they can do better among women voters. senator ted cruz recently did a little mansplaining to dianne feinstein on the subject of gun control and the constitution. she said he was being condescending and patronizing. in response, he said, i can't control her reaction. what do you make of all that? >> he sure can't control her reaction. diane feinstein dianne feinstei his clock. these folks have to realize it's not about the talking points they spew this week. it's great for rand paul, for example, went on tv and talked about what is good for young people and how we're overwhelmingly harmed by -- people of color are overwhelmingly harmed by these laws, these mandatory minimums. he's absolutely right. to goldie's earlier point, we have to start looking at records. we can't just go by the popular talking point of the day or the
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week. yes, to the point, rand paul's got some work to do on his background on what he's traditionally touted as okay and acceptable and so does ted cruz. he's making a lot of enemies on the senate side. he's really going to have to get it together if he's going to want to move anything in the senate. >> now, goldie, one of the things rand paul has talked about over the weekend, maybe this is another attempt to reach out to young voters, is marijuana use and although he said, you know, we shouldn't be touting it but maybe we shouldn't be criminalizing it in the same ways that we have been. is that going to bring in the young voters? >> you know, i don't know if it's going to necessarily galvanize young voters. what it would do if you turned it back would be stopping the pipeline of young, you know, black and brown males directly into the penal system out of middle school. and, you know, i think that's probably a really good start in terms of, you know, making some reasonable impact on our, you know, overcriminalization, overincarceration of young men. i don't know, however, that it
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would galvanize or bring any more of those young men to his fold given his other stances. as angela said, records do matter and hand paul has quite an extensive one. >> i'm thinking there might be some voters who would give the republican party a second look on that one. hogan, so speaking of your party, and the loss last year, mitt romney, he's announced that he's going to hold a summit for business and political leaders this summer in park city, utah. his former running mate, paul ryan, and chris christie, will also be there. so is this romney trying to be the king maker? >> that's a great question, too. i don't know. i can't see it happen even if he wanted to be. could you imagine the first nominee we put forth would be made the nominee by a mitt romney and carry that baggage along with it? i can't help but notice the twinkle in your eye when you say "my party." we have taken it on the chin the
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last little bit. >> i'm so sorry. >> they might be having a car elevator convention, everyone getting together who has a car elevator, talking about putting one up in utah. >> in all seriousness, he has a substantial base of donors if you were going to think about runs in 2016, you're going to want to have access. that says to me mitt romney may finally be comfortable with being a 1%er. >> he should be. he ought to embrace it. that's who he is. and, you know, if he -- there's one thing that's for sure. that is, you know, you have to win elections, you need some money to win those elections. you need votes more, obviously, as we just saw. mitt romney is good at galvanizing some of the folks together for some money and there's some people out there like mike huckabee, rick santorum, who aren't necessarily good fund raisers, if they had gotten the nomination, might have had trouble raising money. mitt romney can help in that way. as far as being out front for the party, i see that time as being over. he's said so himself.
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people are getting together. they're probably trying to figure out how to raise money and form a superpac to help republican candidates. that's probably about it. >> hogan, you may have to be the one to call mitt and let him know. hogu coming up, a message from the president on immigration reform. stay with us. >> this issue is not new. everyone pretty much knows what's broken. everybody knows how to fix it. we've all proposed solutions and we've got a lot of white papers and studies. we've just got at this point to work up the political courage to do what's required to be done. [ male announcer ] if she keeps serving up sneezes... [ sneezing ] she may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec®. powerful allergy relief for adults and kids six years and older. zyrtec®. love the air. and kids six years and older. i can't believe your mom let you take her car! this is awesome! whoooo!
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immigration makes us stronger. it keeps us vibrant, it keeps us hungry, keeps us prosperous. it is part of what makes this such a dynamic country. >> earlier today, president obama addressed 28 new americans
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at a naturalization ceremony held at the white house. in his remarks, the president highlighted a few members of the audience whose personal stories support his immigration push. this as the president's outside group, organizing for america, announced a new online effort in support of immigration reform. lawmakers in both houses of congress are still trying to work out a legislative fix on the issue, and the president's message to them was a little sharper. take a listen. >> we are making progress, but we've got to finish the job. because this issue is not new. everyone pretty much knows what's broken. everybody knows how to fix it. >> we're joined now by representative tony cardenas, democrat of california. congressman, you just heard the president saying today, and perhaps with a bit of frustration in his voice, that we know how to fix the immigration system. why haven't we been able to get this done already? >> i can't blame the president for being frustrated. he's been in washington for some time. i've only been there a few months. it can be a bit frustrating.
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sometimes it gets a little stagnant. you hear a lot of rhetoric from republicans and democrats on many issues. when it comes to immigration, i think it's really important for us to understand we need to get it right now. for example, we have 11 million undocumented in this country. by in large, of those 11 million, they're contributors to our economy. if we get it right and finally fix our broken system, we're going to have 11 million people contributing to our economy and it will be the biggest boone we could ever imagine to this economy. >> speaking of that, the economy and this economic impact, as you know, it's obviously a huge issue, and according to the center -- a study by the center of american progress, passing comprehensive immigration reform this year would create 200,000 jobs a year for the next ten years. it would add $1.4 trillion to our gdp, and it would add almost $800 billion in personal income. so the american people are going to pay a pretty heavy price if we don't get immigration reform passed this year and there's certainly an economic argument
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to be made. do you think that your colleagues on capitol hill, particularly those who are still resistant, understand how high the stakes are? >> i'm glad that these studies are being done. i think these studies are actually telling the truth. at the same time, unfortunately, i think the people afraid to vote for comprehensive immigration reform are thinking about one person and one person only. themselves. they're not thinking about the community, the district they represent or the state or the country. when you look at those numbers for the betterment of the state of the economy of this country, and of every community, we should be passing comprehensive immigration reform. unfortunately, most politicians think about themselves. most of them actually at the end of the day do the right thing. hopefully enough of them will think about this country and just instead of thinking about that campaign hit in the next campaign. >> although, you know, given the growing numbers of americans who support comprehensive immigration reform, support a path to citizenship, across many
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demographics, across this country, doesn't seem like it should be such an act of courage, but we'll see. latino decisions, the polling firm, recently reported that support for immigration might actually help gop candidates. but despite the new gop outreach efforts, so obviously we know the gop is looking at those same numbers. we shouldn't forget latinos aren't single-issue voters, correct? >> correct. they're not single-issue voters. what's most important, when you look at a disenfranchised community finally coming into the fold and related to people who are citizens in this country, you see people who feel better about what was a part of that positive change. that's what the big difference is. it's not just that comprehensive immigration reform is going to make people vote exclusively one way or not. it's going to complement who you are as an elected official and whether you're willing to do the right thing, whether personally it might take a little hit on you or not. i think it's important for people to understand, yes, every
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voter community is complicated including the latino community, but at the same time, it's very important that this issue get taken care of. >> now, senator ted cruz of texas said he's pessimistic about chances for immigration reform because he actually thinks the president doesn't really want to pass a bill. he's suggesting that the president wants the bill to fail in congress so that he can keep using immigration as an issue against republicans in 2014 and potentially 2016. the white house responded to that charge today. let's take a listen. i want to get your reaction. >> there's no evidence to support those claims. what the president has been saying for quite some time now is that he believes that comprehensive immigration reform is in the best interest of the economy. >> so, congressman, who is holding up this bill? is it the president, or is it republicans like senator ted cruz? >> i think it's republicans like senator ted cruz. the president made it very, very clear in his inaugural speech. he made it very clear in his speech on the house floor.
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he made it very clear in every speech including the one that you just showed a few minutes ago. it's important that people understand the president is being very consistent. what's inconsistent is there's not enough republicans in both houses who are willing to just look at it for what it is and actually get, be a part of the actual compromise and get it done. that's the biggest problem. too many politicians thinking about their own election or their own aspirations, instead of thinking about what's best for the country. >> all right. thank you congressman tony cardenas. coming up, congress may be in recess, but it's a busy day at the white house, and we'll take you there. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember
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now, congress may be on spring break, but it is still a busy week at the white house for president obama. for more, we're going to go to nbc's kristen welker who is at
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the white house. kristen, we were just talking about president obama's event today, the naturalization ceremony a few minutes ago. what is next for him as he tries on this fupush for immigration reform? >> reporter: i think you're going to hear the president continue to make the argument that he made today that he wants to see congress come up with an immigration reform plan by the end of the month so it can be debated next month and then voted on as soon as possible. of course, organizing for action, the president's re-tooled campaign, will also be working on this on the sidelines to put pressure on congress. the president's comments sort of highlight and echo the timeline that senator chuck schumer mapped out this weekend. he is, of course, on that bipartisan gang of eight which is working on immigration reform. he said they are close to getting a plan, a bill unveiled. they hope to get something done by the end of the month. i can tell you, karen, though, in talking to my sources, one of the big sticking points is wages
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for low-income workers. the unions, afl-cio, wants to see those wages be a little bit higher. chamber of commerce not willing to sign on to that right now. not willing to agree to that right now. that is a major sticking point at this point in time. that's really what is holding up sort of the final unveiling of comprehensive immigration reform plan. even though the senate is on recess, i can tell you, they continue to work on this behind the scenes. their aides are working on this on this issue and they're also in contact with officials at the white house. again, concern about that one issue that is holding things up right now. karen? >> switching gears to foreign affairs, a lot of people give the president high marks for a number of parts to his trip. most importantly he got the israeli apology to turkey out of his middle east trip. top house republican, though, called the trip a bust. what's the white house's
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reaction with their trip? >> reporter: the top republican was mike rogers of the house intelligence committee. he made the point that the president gave a speech that was received very well but didn't get the peace talks to start up again. white house officials say, look, the president went there and accomplished what he intended to, namely to smooth over relations with prime minister benjamin netanyahu, to reach out to the israeli people and reaffirm the united states' commitment to them and also sent a message that peace talks should resume. so he sort of got that process, the start of that process under way. of course, peace talks haven't resumed yet. that was one of the president's key goals of his first administration. he wasn't able to do it. i think if he doesn't do it during the second term, he will see that as a failing. i've been talking to some experts in the region who say that, you know, the president has sort of given his secretary of state john kerry the lead on that. secretary kerry engaged on getting the peace talks resumed. the experts say the president needs to remain engaged if he wants to see that really happen.
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the people are going to watch the president closely to see what he does in the coming weeks to see if he can make progress on that point. >> kristen, what struck me about the tactic the president took on this trip was also to shore up -- we can't underscore the significance of this apology to turkey. we need both turkey and israel in the escalating -- they're both important allies in this escalating violence in syria. struck me part of what he was trying to do is, yes, talk about the peace talks but pivot to, let's focus on an area where we have agreement, clear shared goals and shared needs as a way to sort of smooth over the relationship. >> reporter: i think there's no doubt that the administration thinks that was certainly a diplomatic achievement the president engaged in some arm twisting there, got prime minister netanyahu to call the prime minister of turkey to apologize for that 2010 raid on the turkish ship. so there is no doubt that that will be key moving forward in terms of dealing with syria and also in terms of making progress on the peace process.
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>> all right. nbc's kristen welker. thank you. >> reporter: thanks. and we'll be right back. we all have one. that perfect spot. a special place we go to smooth out the ripples of the day. it might be off a dock or on a boat. upstream or in the middle of nowhere. wherever it may be, casting a line in the clear, fresh waters of michigan lets us leave anything weighing us down back on shore. our perfect spot is calling. our perfect spot is pure michigan. your trip begins at her long day of pick ups and drop offs begins with arthritis pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪